This paper presents an improvement of a standard algorithm for detecting dead-lock potentials in multi-threaded programs, in that it reduces the number of false positives. The standard algorithm works as follows. The multi-threaded program under observation is executed, while lock and unlock events are observed. A graph of locks is built, with edges between locks symbolizing locking orders. Any cycle in the graph signifies a potential for a deadlock. The typical standard example is the group of dining philosophers sharing forks. The algorithm is interesting because it can catch deadlock potentials even though no deadlocks occur in the examined trace, and at the same time it scales very well in contrast t o more formal approaches to deadlock detection. The algorithm, however, can yield false positives (as well as false negatives). The extension of the algorithm described in this paper reduces the amount of false positives for three particular cases: when a gate lock protects a cycle, when a single thread introduces a cycle, and when the code segments in different threads that cause the cycle can actually not execute in parallel. The paper formalizes a theory for dynamic deadlock detection and compares it to model checking and static analysis techniques. It furthermore describes an implementation for analyzing Java programs and its application to two case studies: a planetary rover and a space craft altitude control system.